Penang Global City Centre

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Penang Global City Centre
General information
Type Residential Properties, Leisure
Location Penang, Malaysia
Design and construction
Architect Asymptote Architecture
Developer Abad Naluri , Equine Capital Bhd (MYX: 1147)

The Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) was a proposed project to be located at Penang Turf Club on Penang Island, Malaysia. The developers who proposed PGCC hoped to use 50,000 square metres (538,196 square feet) divided between two five-star hotels, a 75,000 square metre (807,294 square feet) Penang performing arts centre, a 400,000 square metre (4,305,565 square feet) retail complex, 25,000 square metres (269,098 square feet) divided between two office towers, 70,000 square metres (753,474 square feet) of residential properties, a 100,000 square metre (1,076,392 square feet) world-class convention centre, a 1500 square metre (16,146 square feet) observatory tower, 190,000 square metres (2,045,142 square feet) of parking space, monorail transportation, and a public arena.[1] Following public opposition due to an undemocratic decisionmaking process, no environmental assessment, and concerns about the impact on Penangites, the PGCC plan was blocked.

The PGCC, with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM25 billion, was to be sited on a 104 ha plot where the Penang Turf Club currently stands.[2] Abad Naluri bought the land for RM488mil in 2002.[2]

The PGCC was designed by Asymptote Architecture, under leadership of Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Coutur. It was to be built on a 185 hectare plot (1.9 square KM), featuring two iconic towers – each standing 200 meters high (656 ft). It would have taken at least 15 years to complete.

Basic Information[edit]

Retail Complex: 384.953 m².
Convention Center: 95.174 m².
Penang Performing Arts Center (PenPAC): 73.950 m².
Condominium Towers: 61. 718 m².
Hotel A and Service Apartments: 23.130 m².
Hotel B and Service Apartments: 25.725 m².
Offices: 22.530 m².
Observatory: 1,256 m².
Parking: 183,390 m².

Controversy and criticism[edit]

The development of PGCC was criticised as misleading and lacking in transparency. The controversy ultimately led to the widespread PGCC boycott campaign, and to the plan being put on hold. Petitions, banners and other digital media were launched by the local community to raise awareness of the impact of the PGCC development to the public.

In early September 2007, a few major non-governmental organisations in Penang joined forces to form The PGCC Campaign Group to oppose the development of Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) Project. However, the group is facing a mainstream media blackout. [3]

According to the Joint Press Release by a Group of Concerned NGOs To Oppose The Development of Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) dated 15 September 2007


Land Re-zoning
The site of the project – the present Turf Club- was originally given by the government for a nominal sum and was zoned as 'Open Space'. This was changed very recently to 'Mixed Development', even though public opinion was unanimously against it (judging from the submissions sent in by the public during the 2007 Structure Plan exercise).[citation needed]

By doing so, the Penang State Govt has acted arbitrarily and sacrificed the interests of the community to a group of developers.

Traffic Congestion
The project is so large that it will affect almost every person in Penang, but there has been very little public consultation. By our estimate, it will generate about 60,000 traffic movements daily which will be channelled into Jalan Scotland and Jalan Utama (via Jalan Brook).

The traffic dispersal plan for the project leaves much to be desired and public opinions favours for another traffic study by independent experts to be done before any decisions are made.

Public Consultation
During the drawing up of the Penang Structure Plan, public consultation was minimal, perfunctory and the results were entirely ignored. Since a mega development is going to take place on the Turf Club land that is subjected to the Structure Plan, we would therefore call for a greater genuine public consultation due to the large size of this project.[citation needed]

The project was approved in Putrajaya, plans were finalised without any local inputs, and have now been publicly launched with much fanfare.[citation needed]

Social Housing
It is a national policy that all development must include 30% low-cost units, and yet none will be built on the site. Instead the developer is proposing to build 6,933 luxury units of apartments and houses on the site. However, the low cost units will be built elsewhere.

Given the size of the project we would also ask for a detailed EIA to be done, as a preliminary study would not be sufficient to address all the issues that will arise.

Other than concerns raised by PGCC Campaign Group under joint press release. PGCC's developers also have been criticised for providing misleading facts such as:-

PGCC Eco Tech City Towards Zero Carbon City.
.[5] The developers have not backed their claims of a 'zero carbon' PGCC with any detailed statistics or scientific evidence, beyond very vague references to eco-friendly architecture and design. It is unclear whether they are including traffic emissions, or the pollution caused by the actual building of the city, which will last ten years or more

Brochures and official website .[6] produced by the developer only showing the two iconic towers. Residential properties with over 37 buildings was not highlighted in any official publication by the developers. .[1]

Response of local authorities[edit]

The Penang Island Municipal Council and the Penang state government under the previous administration have been reluctant to demand any public accountability or organise public hearings. None of the Penang citizens except for 16 representatives of the Residents Association of Jesselton were invited for a closed door meeting. The Penang State Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan rejected the NGOs' proposal for public hearing. He claimed the council had already played its part in accordance with the law. Those present included MPPP president Datuk Zainal Rahim Seman, project developer Equine Capital Bhd executive chairman Datuk Patrick Lim and 16 representatives from the Residents Association of Jesselton. [7]

Following the 13th General Election on 8 March 2008, the new state government led by Pakatan Rakyat announced in September 2008 that the proposed PGCC project has been rejected by the Penang Municipal due to the failure of the developer in submitting the layout plans on time and complying with the council's requirements. This was confirmed by the council president Datuk Zainal Rahim Seman. [8]

Members of The PGCC Campaign Group[edit]

PGCC Campaign Group:

  • The Consumers Association of Penang
  • Sahabat Alam Malaysia
  • Aliran
  • Penang Heritage Trust
  • Citizens for Public Transport
  • Malaysian Nature Society
  • Tanjung Bungah Residents Association
  • Suara Rakyat Malaysia
  • Badan Warisan Malaysia
  • Jesselton Heights Residents Association
  • Friends of Botanic Gardens

Notable events[edit]

12 September 2007: Launching of the Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) project.
15 September 2007: Six Penang-based NGOs came together to issue a joint statement against the development of the PGCC.[1]
7 October 2007: Public Forum on Implications of PGCC on Penangites organised by the PGCC Campaign Group held at Dewan Sri Pinang was attended by approximately 350 Penangites.
3 September 2008: New state administration under Pakatan Rakyat announced the cancellation of proposed PGCC project. [8]


  1. ^ a b c "PGCC – PENANG GLOBAL CITY CENTRE". 29 September 2007. Retrieved 11 October 2007.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "37Towers" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "37Towers" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b "Equine's ambitious plan to bring new shine to Penang". September 2007. Archived from the original on 16 November 2007. Retrieved 11 October 2007.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "GDV" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ "NGOs face PGCC media blackout". Aliran. 18 September 2007. Archived from the original on 9 November 2007. Retrieved 9 October 2007. 
  4. ^ "Masterpiece". PGCC. 15 September 2007. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 17 October 2007. 
  5. ^ "Zero Carbon City". PGCC. 2007. Retrieved 16 October 2007. 
  6. ^ "Masterpiece". PGCC. 2007. Retrieved 17 October 2007. 
  7. ^ "Teng: No public hearing". The Star. 5 October 2007. Retrieved 10 November 2007. 
  8. ^ a b "Guan Eng: PGCC as good as dead". The Star. 3 September 2008. Retrieved 28 September 2009. 

External links[edit]